If you have seriously heeded “The Chicago Call,” then no doubt you are deep into a study of the church fathers and looking for ways to share this wealth with others.

Have no fear, for Tradition House is here! We have prepared an exciting visual aids kit that will make the fathers and the councils as real and important as next month’s payment on the church building.

Heading the list of visual assistants is a quaint puppet named Aunty Nicene. She is an old lady with a broom, and she is forever digging up ancient things and making them look new. She is aided by several animal puppets, among them Augustine the Hippo and Polly Carp the fish. (Since the fish is an ancient Christian symbol, we felt it was important to include Polly.) There is also a family of aquatic birds known as the Ortho Ducks. They flock together and lament the fact that too many things are new. Occasionally one of them will dive to the bottom of the lake (not supplied in the kit) and come up with something he claims is a pearl.

Aunty Nicene has a pet basset hound who helps to teach people dogmatic theology. She also has a pet feline who handles the catechism. This delightful evangelical zoo is bound to create interest and excitement, even among those in the church who don’t brake for pets.

The kit also contains a set of priceless slides depicting the church fathers at work in those early centuries. A special feature is a long-playing record of ancient chants and songs, played on copies of the original instruments. On the record are new arrangements of songs by Bernard of Clairvaux, all tastefully done by Bill and Gloria Gaither. Add to these items a generous assortment of candles, a tin of dust swept from ancient ruins, several parchments, and three paint-by-number icons, and you can see that the kit is a bargain.

Tradition House is proud to offer this valuable teaching tool to the waiting public. Be the first in your town to lead your church forward—or is it backward? I keep forgetting. Well, at least you’ll be going somewhere!



Roland Miller’s lead article “Renaissance of the Muslim Spirit” (Nov. 16) was the most articulate and succinct overview of Islam I have ever read. He has highlighted both facts and moods in the shifting, often contradictory tides of the Islamic renaissance. My only suggestion would be to add a reference concerning the impact of the Crusades on the Muslim outlook toward the West and toward Christianity in general.


International Christian Fellowship

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Wheaton, Ill.


I wish that Ed Plowman’s news article “Is Morality All Right?” (Nov. 16) had been done with at least the semblance of objectivity.

No question that he is talking about some folks who aren’t altogether forthright in their intentions. But why not edit the piece to remove some of his more glaring prejudices? For example, what group would not “reject the accusation that they are reactionaries hopelessly mired in negativism”?

While I don’t agree with Ed’s politics, I must say that I am absolutely against the right wing religious-political alliances he refers to in his article.


Editor and Publisher

Backpacker Magazine

Bedford Hills, N.Y.

While it is good that Christians are speaking out on the issues, there is the danger of determining if one is a Christian based on his liberal or conservative political views rather than on the evidence of the grace of God in his life. “By their fruits ye shall know them,” Jesus said. Not if one votes conservative do we know if he or she is a Christian.


Smithfield, Va.

Muddies the Issue

I appreciate your editorial about the less than enthusiastic response to Francis Schaeffer’s new film series, Whatever Happened to the Human Race? (“Beyond Personal Piety,” Nov. 16). However, I must ask whether you muddy the issue with words like, “We are not advocating absolute rejection of all abortions,” and “Whether or not a one-day fetus is fully human life, it is at the very least potential human life.”

While trying to agree with Schaeffer’s premise, aren’t you qualifying and weakening your own stand with phrases like this? Abortion must be attacked for what it is and the sacredness of human life must be accepted with no qualifications.


Our Savior Lutheran Church

Milford, Ill.

In your November 2 news report on Evangelicals for Social Action (“Stacking Sandbags against a Conservative Flood”), you stated that “The Sojourners and Other Side constituencies tended to disengage from ESA after its 1977 reorganization.”

It is true that most of the staff of both magazines left the board of ESA at that time, but I don’t think our “constituencies” disengaged. Certainly our subscribers have not disengaged. A large part of the ESA membership comes from the mailing lists of the two magazines.

That is because we continue to work closely together. Both magazines have allowed ESA the use of their mailing list, The Other Side has recommended that its readers join ESA, we share office space with ESA, one of our coeditors (Al Krass) served a term on their board, and three of our four coeditors belong to ESA.

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You also imply that one reason some of us disengaged from ESA was that we wanted to build radical alternatives and ESA wanted to change the system. That is inaccurate. The disagreement was over how radical a change we should call for, not over whether to do it by building alternatives or by working within the system.

But even then the disagreement was mild. We did not feel that ESA was making a bad choice. We just felt that we were called to something different from what they were called to.



The Other Side

Philadelphia, Pa.

Well-chosen Word

The editorial “The Indispensable Christian College” (Nov. 2) and the three articles on the Christian college were excellent presentations of the rationale for and impact of the Christian college today. Indispensable is a word well chosen to describe its role.

As I read these articles, I was struck that “Christian day school” could have been substituted for the words “Christian college” in almost every instance. It struck me how inconsistent some of us can be. When it comes to college education, Christian education is indispensable, but when it comes to our young children and our teenagers, secular education is somehow supposed to satisfy the need to develop in our children a Christian world-and-life view.



Christian Home and School

Grand Rapids, Mich.

Your editorial was very helpful. Could it be that one of the significant reasons enrollment in Christian colleges has increased above the national average is that financial aid for students has dramatically increased?

Federal and state student aid has increased 1,500 percent over the past ten years. Studies have shown that 40–50 percent of the students attending private colleges would have attended a state-subsidized institution if it were not for public assistance in the form of student aid.

Without federal and state financial assistance for students over the past 15 years, the Christian college would not be nearly as healthy financially as it is today. At many Christian colleges the public dollars students bring with them amount to 25–30 percent of the operating budget.


Director of student aid and government relations

George Fox College

Newburg, Oreg.

Not by Power

Thank you for David Wells’s article “Prayer: Rebelling against the Status Quo” (Nov. 2). I especially appreciated the call to prayer based on the character of God, rather than the appeals to power so often heard. I too believe that prayer is an appropriate method of rebelling against the evil and injustice that mankind has introduced into God’s world.

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Association of Church Missions Committees

Pasadena, Calif.

Sensitive and Honest

I’m so thankful that Gerald Oosterveen’s sensitive, honest, and comprehensive piece “In Support of Parents with Handicapped Children” found a place in the October 19 issue.

As parents of a beautiful eight-year-old daughter who suffered massive diffused brain injury when she was but 18 hours old, my wife and I can attest to the psychological and spiritual turmoil parents of a hurt child experience.

And I have witnessed both intentional and unintentional discrimination toward families with handicapped children by many who should be sources of comfort, strength, and love.


Executive Director

Bethany Manor

Downey, Calif.

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